Three Reasons Why You Should Have a Business Card

By: Eden Hensley; Photos by Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

You may have heard that business cards are a big deal at Alt Summit. You may have seen photos of people feverishly working on them leading up to past conferences. Or you may have seen round ups of cards people collected.

And you may be wondering why are business cards important? How many should I bring? What should I include on mine?

Whether or not you are attending Alt Summit Winter this coming January, you should have a business card. Here is why.

First, business cards are an introvert’s best friend.

Why? If you have ever struggled with small talk or get self-conscious when asked to talk about yourself, at Alt Summit you can simply present your card. (Or, if you are super nervous meeting someone you really look up to, you can toss it towards them and run in the opposite direction. I do not recommend this particular strategy, but it does make for a great story. And yes, I actually did do this my first Alt.)

With your card, your focus is about what you did. Conversation begins to flow freely and any nervousness melts away.

Second, business cards are a great way to remember whom you met and to make sure you connect with everyone you planned.

I have bags tucked into my tote with colored Washi tape affixed to keep them organized. Each day has its own color and I write on the tape where I collected the cards, for example, lunch the first day of the conference, opening night party, and so on. At the end of each day, I compare my pre-conference list of people with whom I wanted to connect with the collected business cards.

Third, business cards give people a way to connect with you in the future.

We all have different goals for attending Alt Summit. The conference itself flies by, and you will not be able to have in-depth conversations with everyone. Your card is an invitation for continued conversations, long-term friendships, and potential collaborations.

Many creatives emphasize giving cards to everyone you meet. And I wholeheartedly agree! I brought 120 cards to Alt Summit Summer this past June and ran out! This January, I am bringing 250 cards with me. I also use business cards when I am not attending conferences. If I have a conversation about my blog with someone on while waiting for the train, I hand over my card. (I have actually gotten business this way.) Business cards remind me to introduce myself and to always be networking.

Get inspired!

If you do not yet have business cards, do not stress. Two of our Alt Summit Winter sponsors, Minted and Tiny Prints have amazing business card options to choose from. Or get creative! Jill of Being Spiffy, handed out Avery labels with her name, blog, and email address. Months after the conference fellow attendees still have her "cards."

Wondering what others have done for business cards at Alt Summit? We have put together an Alt Business Card Inspiration Pinterest board with some favorites from past conferences.

Have a post about your business cards? Share on Twitter and tag #AltSummit. Have a photo of your business cards? Share on Instagram and tag #AltSummitBusinesscards.

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.